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  • Writer's pictureHeathens of Yorkshire

Deity of the Month - Frigg

-by Toni

Hi guys, today as part of deity of the month I will be covering the goddess Frigg (Frigga etc.)

Described as “foremost among the goddesses” by Snorri Sturluson, she is the wife of Odin and mother to the ill-fated Baldur (and does in fact unknowingly play a part in his demise). Friday is also named after her in English, as with other days of the week and other Aesir/Vanir.

Her hall is named Fensalir which means Fen-halls. This may indicate a connection to standing water and could explain why early Iron Age sacrifices were made by depositing precious objects into bogs in Denmark and therefore were intended to honour Frigg.

She knows a great deal regarding the fates of those closest to her which results in great heartache and worry. She warns Odin not to challenge Vafthrúdnir (the wisest of the giants) to a contest of wits as she is all too aware of his knowledge.

She is referenced as “knowing the fates of all people, although she chooses not to disclose them” by Freya, which seems to indicate that she has the power of divination and so is associated with the practice of Seidr.

In my opinion the most famous reference to Frigg is her involvement in the death of Baldur. After Baldur started having nightmares depicting his death, Frigg made every existing thing promise not to harm him. Everything except mistletoe which she deemed to young to harm him. Depending on which sources and interpretations you believe, either Loki found out about the mistletoe from Frigg and tricked the blind god Hodr into accidentally killing him with a dart or spear made from the deadly substance or Hodr intentionally killed Baldur.

Frigg then asked for a volunteer to go to Hel to bring back Baldur. Hermod, (possibly a lesser known son of Odin or a servant) volunteers. He rode on Sleipnir for nine days and nine nights and when he finally found Baldur. He was seated next to Hel. Hel said she would not let Balder go until every being in existence would weep for him. If any refused, he would stay with her. All except one old giantess named Thökk refused. This giantess was of course Loki in disguise. Balder therefore had to stay until after Ragnarök, to his mother’s unbearable grief.

UPG interpretations

My personal interpretation of Frigg is of a symbol of the hardships of a mother and matriarch to a family. She personifies the profound grief a mother feels at the loss of a child. Almost all references to her involve her trying to save her family.

She is also used as an example of the unforgiving and unpredictable nature of the Germanic concept of fate. Not even a powerful seer who is the wife of Odin and chief among all the goddesses can escape the inevitable and control the fates of those around her.

Frigg by The Saxon Storyteller from The Gods' Own County. Copyright 2019 Heathens of Yorkhire

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